Billy Wilson Photography via Flickr / Creative Commons License

You can let the fireworks fly in Bernalillo County this Fourth of July, as long as they don’t fly too far. Abundant rain this year kept Bernalillo County from banning fireworks and other fires.

Rita Daniels

Key players in New Mexico’s energy economy came together Wednesday in Albuquerque to talk about some of the challenges they face.

Laura Paskus

There used to be big talk about a big boom coming to the San Juan Basin. Industry thought they’d sink 20,000 new oil wells. Companies wanted to take advantage of oil deposits squeezed into tiny fissures in tight shale deep underground.

An Elegy For The American Character

Jul 1, 2015
Ardfern via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

As we approach the 4th of July holiday, commentator Andrea Mays says we need to reflect on how racism is a central part of the ‘American character.’

Andrea Mays is an American Studies scholar who lives in Santa Fe. Her bi-weekly column, Here’s The Thing, is published by the Santa Fe Reporter. Find the full piece online here.

andre dos santos via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A Harvard University report released last week shows that for renters making less money, Albuquerque is among the toughest U.S. cities for affordable housing.

via Engaging Peace

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week on a law limiting mercury and other emissions from power plants will not affect a coal-fired plant in northwestern New Mexico.

Sheila Stephenson

Mental health care and substance abuse treatment here has been in flux since Medicaid payments to providers were frozen in 2013. And two counselors are striking out on their own in a rural part of the state.

Holtzman via Flickr / Creative Commons License

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich announced Monday that he will propose legislation to address poverty across multiple generations. 


If you are a member of the Navajo Nation with respiratory problems and you live near the Four Corners Power Plant, you may have more access to health care soon.

Images of Money via CC

Some New Mexicans may have been dropped by mistake from a federal program that aims to help people pay their phone bills.

Rita Daniels / KUNM

The federal monitor overseeing reform of the Albuquerque Police Department held his first public meeting in town this week.

James Ginger responded to skeptics who questioned his take on what successful police reform will look like and criticized him for not including anyone from New Mexico on his 10-person team.

“Cut us a little bit of slack,” Ginger said. “Let us get our feet on the ground. Let us do a reconnoiter. Let us figure out what it is we need to do, and then we’ll have meetings like this periodically throughout the year.”

Library of Congress via CC

Albuquerque’s City Council will consider an ordinance in August aimed at helping part-time workers, but small business owners and employers say it’s unrealistic. 

Bernalillo County Commissioners voted to approve the Santolina development agreement in a contentious meeting Wednesday. The plan could bring about 40,000 new homes to a privately owned development on the West Mesa outside of Albuquerque.

The 3-to-2 vote to approve Santolina came after hours of debate over the language in the agreement. 

Protesters and acequia farmers sat through the hearing with tape over their mouths—a symbolic objection to the commission’s decision not to allow public comment.

Night at the Fiestas, published this spring by W.W. Norton, brings together ten short stories by New Mexico native Kirstin Valdez Quade, who last year was named one of the five most promising writers under 35 by the National Book Foundation.  The stories appeared earlier in various national publications, including The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories 2013 and The O.

We Reap What We Sow

Jun 18, 2015
ScaarAT via Flickr / Creative Commons License

By happenstance, commentator Andrea Mays caught part of a documentary on the benefits of veganism. She says it offered some jaw-dropping footage of industrial farming. While she doesn’t remember much about the veganism part, seeing those images has made it impossible for her to eat another hamburger.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Around the country, pedestrian deaths are most common in low-income areas. And New Mexico has had the highest average rate of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. for the last few years, according to the CDC. 

Looking Within Report

Residents of McKinley County in northwestern New Mexico have long complained of health problems associated with uranium mining. A new study looks at the health impacts the uranium mining industry may have caused there.

Nearly 100 of the 520 abandoned uranium mines on Navajo land are in McKinley County. That area is also home to the decades-old Church Rock Tailings Spill, one of the worst radioactive disasters in American history.

Bernalillo County rejected the application this week of a Florida company, Humic Growth Solutions, that wants to build a fertilizer plant next to a residential neighborhood south of Albuquerque.  

Zoning Administrator Juanita Garcia issued her decision Tuesday, saying the information the company provided in its application was too vague, and did not address the health and safety concerns of people living nearby.

Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to recertify an underground nuclear waste storage facility in southeastern New Mexico. It’s the first time the Department of Energy has gone through this process since a drum burst deep underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, leaking radiation and contaminating workers.

Kaveh Mowahed

Bernalillo County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to approve the Santolina Master Plan and zoning. The huge development west of Albuquerque is to include 38,000 homes, plus commercial and open space.

Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing Santolina’s jobs forecasts – developers say the plan would bring two jobs for each home built. This sparked a debate on the definition of the word “job.”

But critics say the jobs predictions are inflated.

Carolina Ödman via Flickr

Weather related deaths are down because more people know how to be safe. It’s Monsoon Safety Awareness Week and the National Weather Service wants you to know how to avoid the dangers of these seasonal storms.  

In New Mexico four people died in flash floods since 2013, and just last year lightning killed one person.

Wikimedia via CC

Women looking to vaccinate themselves against a cancer-causing virus usually have to take three trips to the doctor’s office. But researchers are looking into more efficient ways of delivering protection.

Two types of the sexually transmitted infection HPV, or human papillomavirus, cause three quarters of all cervical cancers. And a research paper published this month shows that it may only take a single dose of vaccine to prevent them.

Rita Daniels

This weekend marks Albuquerque’s 39th PrideFest, promoting a positive image of the LGBT community. But many transgender people feel like there’s still a long way to go in the fight to end discrimination.

Over one hundred people got together Thursday night at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico before the candlelight vigil that launches Albuquerque’s PrideFest weekend. 

Ed Williams

Bernalillo County is considering a Florida company’s proposal to build a fertilizer plant near a residential neighborhood. The proposal has neighbors worried about impacts to health and traffic.

The company, Humic Growth Solutions of Jacksonville, wants to manufacture humic acid fertilizer at the site of an old paint warehouse south of Albuquerque.

The property is zoned for heavy industry, but there are homes about 100 feet away. That has neighbors like Marisol Archuleta worried.

Public domain image.

The Department of Energy has fined the contractors that manage Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories nearly $1 million for mishandling sensitive material.


KUNM Call In Show 6/11 8a: How are the evaluations serving New Mexico's students and teachers? We talked to teachers nearly a year ago about this. A lot has happened since then. We're checking in to see what's changed and whether new teacher evals are working to improve New Mexico's education system.

We want to hear from you! Email, post your comments online or call in live during the show. Guests:

clang boom steam via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A special session of New Mexico’s legislature was held Monday to revisit unfinished business from earlier this year, but agreements on proposed legislation were seemingly already made behind closed doors.

A report from says many citizens object to the closed-door dealings because little is known of the negotiations or bill’s details.

mandaloo via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A survey by the Associated Press has revealed that fewer abortions are happening around the country, and New Mexico is among the six states that have seen the biggest drop. 

The abortion rate fell by almost a full quarter—24 percent—in New Mexico since 2010, according to the AP. 

Lalita Russ, a field organizer with Planned Parenthood here, said it’s important to note that the decline happened both in states that did not pass laws to limit access to abortion—and those that did.

spartacus pustota via flickr

Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall joined 28 other Democratic senators and two independents in sending a letter Friday to the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They support new federal rules that would require lenders to check if customers could actually pay back their loans. The rules would also restrict the ways creditors could collect on debts.

Laura Paskus

Thanks to technologies like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, New Mexico is one of the top natural gas producers in the world – 27th according to the latest annual numbers from 2012 just released by the American Petroleum Institute. But there’s more to the economics of drilling than just counting rigs and tallying profits.